ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Phillies are listening to offers for All-Star starters Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. Hamels has $118.5 million remaining over five years on his contract while Lee has $62.5 million available over three years.
Hamels, who turns 30 on December 27th, was a bit snake-bitten with wins last year while putting up a career-high 14 losses. Overall he was 8-14 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. In his career, all spent with the Phillies, Hamels is 99-74 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He is a three-time All-Star and won a NLCS MVP and World Series MVP in 2008.
This is the first time that I can remember Cole Hamels ever being the subject of trade rumors since his Major League debut in 2006. He re-signed a monster deal with the Phillies in July 2012 that would likely keep him in Philadelphia for the rest of his career. That is, unless Ruben Amaro trades him.
Lee, 35, has been the subject of trade rumors for the better part of 18 months. He has a solid 2013 season although the team behind him was sub-par at best. Lee went 14-8 with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP with 222 strikeouts in 222.2 innings of work.
The Phillies don't seem to have a clear direction this off-season. They re-sign Carlos Ruiz for three years despite turning 35 in January then turn around and sign 36-year-old Marlon Byrd for two years. Three weeks later, the Phillies are shopping Jonathan Papelbon, Dom Brown, Lee, and Hamels.
So what is it? Are they "all-in" for the next two years then rebuilding? Or are they looking to get younger now by shedding aging, hefty contracts? I wish someone would answer this.
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